Bulldogs’ Hot Bats By Andy Armosino
May 01, 2017 11:04AM ● Published by Elena Hutslar
Alhambra High School’s Junior Varsity Softball team is off to a fast start this season after winning their first two non-league games and then snapping off five more straight victories to win the recent 33rd Annual Napa High School JV Softball Tournament.
In game one against Analy from Sebastopol, Sarah Sheppard lead the attack going 3-3 while Aleena Quintero and Baylee Gibson blasted homeruns in the 11-2 drubbing. Lauren Titus and Naliah Drake contributed singles, and pitcher Lauren King scattered four hits and struck out 10 in five innings.
Windsor did not put up much of a fight in game two either, and King was dominant once again, mowing down nine Jaguar batters in just four innings. Sheppard continued her torrid hitting with three more base knocks while team captain Ari Bethel had two of her own, including a double and three RBI’s. Rhyanna Mechling added a triple in the 11-0 shutout.
Captain Saedy James caught fire against California High from San Ramon in the nightcap, with three hits in three chances and adding three stolen bases to total seven for the day. And, of course, it was business as usual for Sheppard with two more singles and a double. Gibson added two hits, and Hannah Platt chipped in a single and stole three bases as the Bulldogs chewed up the Grizzlies 10-3.
Saturday brought a rematch of Friday’s final as the #4 seeded Cal High got a second chance at the #1 Dogs. And, once again, the Grizzlies left the wine country disappointed, this time by a score of 8-3. Quintero hit her second homerun of the tourney, and Amy Wiebens added a pinch-hit bomb of her own. King and Platt added two hits apiece, including a three-bagger for Platt.
The championship game featured the Bulldogs against the #2 seed and unbeaten Petaluma Trojans, and as it turned out, the fans got much more than their money’s worth. The Dogs left the bases loaded twice in the first two innings without pushing across a single run. Petaluma seized the opportunity and built a 4-0 lead before AHS finally scored a run. The Trojans seemed to be on cruise control for the next several innings, but that was soon about to change. Still down 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh, James gathered the troops in a last ditch effort pep talk to try and get something started, and then leading by example, followed with a single. Gibson then smashed the second pitch she saw high off the building wall beyond the left field fence to make it a 4-3 game. With players and fans on their feet, Sheppard stepped into the box and hit a towering fly ball off the left center field fence but was held to a long single. It didn’t matter, though. A fatigued King came up next and had just enough left in her tank, helping her own cause by delivering the knockout blow, a high drive down the right field line and well over the fence for the walk off victory. Pandemonium followed.